Surfaceink, the hardware company which helped launch Apple into the stratosphere, is being acquired by professional services and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), reports TechCrunch. The financial terms of the deal are not being made public at this time.
The founder and CEO of Surfaceink, Eric Bauswell, declined to provide details in an interview, but it is understood existing customers will be coming with the deal. Surfaceink’s website lists many clients from the company’s lifetime, including Apple, Meta, Google, and Dell, amongst many other big names.
One of the UK’s biggest accountancy firms, PwC hopes the acquisition will help them expand the services they can offer to the numerous tech companies in their portfolio of clients. Surfaceink, as well as developing hardware, has labs specializing in other fields including audio systems engineering and electrical engineering. The services they could begin to provide to PwC’s customers are vast.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Bauswell said: “There’s there’s a long laundry list of reasons why different companies would want to work with us. And they all end up being very individualized.
“In general, it’s that we’ve got a team that’s got a ton of experience in shipping products. When people want to ship a new product or go after a new business sector or create a new business unit, you know, a lot of times we will be the first boots on the ground.”
Surfaceink and Apple’s history
Surfaceink was founded in 1999 specifically to partner with Apple and was critical to their success under CEO Steve Jobs, working on projects from the 1999 iMac Graphite through to the iPhone 1 in 2007 and the iPad 1 in 2010. In 2010, as the smaller Silicon Valley firm sought to expand and partner with more businesses, Apple soured on the relationship. The tech company recently announced it will be outsourcing production of a quarter of the world’s iPhones to India.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Jenny Koehler, PwC’s business development head said “It was on the heels of a strategic refresh within PwC. We’re always scanning the market for interesting companies, whether it’s partnership or acquisition, and Surfaceink was one of them. It happened to be at the same time that they were exploring [alternatives] for their purposes to be able to deliver more broadly with their clients.”
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